State Sen. Kerry Donovan wasted no time tearing into the Republican incumbent Thursday, one day after the Eagle County Democrat filed paperwork to challenge U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District in next year's election.
"Just yesterday, Lauren Boebert called the COVID recovery package a 'boondoggle,' " Donovan told Colorado Politics.
"I don't think that trying to keep your small business open is a boondoggle. I don't think that figuring out how to vaccinate teachers is a boondoggle. I'm running for Congress because this part of Colorado needs a congresswoman who's more concerned with results than headlines."
In a campaign video released Thursday, Donovan took aim at Boebert's notoriety as a pistol-packing defender of the Second Amendment.
“Real toughness isn’t something you wear on your hip. It’s what you get done for people," she said in the video. "I’ll use every ounce of grit and determination I have to get our communities on their feet and people back to work.”
The owner of a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, Boebert, 34, has become a lightning rod for controversy since unseating five-term U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton in a Republican primary last summer.
The novice politician has drawn attention for everything from praising the QAnon conspiracy before distancing herself from it to declaring she plans carry a gun in Washington and delivering fiery floor speeches denouncing nearly every move of the Biden administration.
Donovan, the highest-profile of three Democrats who have launched campaigns to run against Boebert, said in an interview Thursday that she isn't concerned about the possibility she could be drawn into a different congressional district than Boebert by an independent redistricting commission set to complete its work this fall.
"No one knows what the maps will look like," she said. "I'm worried about the people in the 3rd Congressional District now."
Donovan, 42, grew up in Vail and works on a family-owned ranch in Eagle County, which straddles the 2nd and 3rd CDs. In paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission, she lists a residence in Wolcott, a small town about 20 miles west of Vail that falls just inside the boundaries of Boebert's district.
The Republican-leaning 3rd CD covers most of the Western Slope, Pueblo County and the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado.
"I have deep ties to community, a proven ability to win tough races and a track record in the Senate that shows I can get things done," Donovan said. "These are tough times for people. We need to rebuild the economy; we have to recover from COVID. These are all incredibly serious issues that need experience and attention and someone who's wiling to fight for them and not their selfish, reckless agenda."
She chairs the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and was named president pro tem of the Colorado Senate in November.
Boebert's campaign didn't respond to a request for comment.
The two other Democrats who have made their runs for the seat official are Gregg Harrison Smith of Westcliffe, a former CEO who changed his registration from unaffiliated just days before filling to run for Congress, and Glenwood Springs attorney Colin Wilhelm, who lost a race for House District 57 in November to Rep. Perry Will, R-New Castle.
Marianne Goodland contributed to this report.